Monday, February 12, 2007


Moving half a town...

Only the Swedes could think of something like this…

Moving the town piece by piece:

Some buildings will be torn down and rebuilt. Others -- including a historic wooden church once voted Sweden's most beautiful building -- will be taken down piece by piece and reassembled in their new locale.

Why? To get more iron out of the ground:

The Arctic town of Kiruna, Sweden's northernmost municipality, is under threat as cracks caused by decades of iron ore mining slowly erode its foundations.

So two years ago the municipal council decided to move more than half of the town from the shadow of Kiirunavaara mountain, site of the world's largest underground mine.

This month it chose the new site for Kiruna's centre, at the base of Luossavaara mountain, about 4 km (2.5 miles) away.

The town's deputy mayor puts the cost of moving the buildings at about 30 billion Swedish crowns ($4.28 billion), not including rerouting the railway and roads.

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